Sunday, January 15, 2012

Is Tim Tebow to Blame for Broncos 45-10 Playoff Loss to New England?

by Brian Phelps

Last night, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots humiliated the Denver Broncos in Foxborough 45-10 to send Tim Tebow packing for the off season. So, who's to blame for the Broncos loss? I'm sure most people and analysts (such as Merril Hoge and Stephen A. Smith) are already lining up to run Tebow through the ringer for another lack luster performance. Personally, I don't think this loss was on Tebow. I think this loss was first and foremost on the defense, and then the offensive line of the Denver Broncos. Allow me to explain before you all say I'm crazy.

First of all, that entire game was an indictment of the Denver Broncos defense. The same defense that Merril Hoge claimed was the real reason why the Denver Broncos were winning this season gave up FIVE touchdowns BEFORE half-time! They ended up giving up SIX touchdowns, a field goal, and over 500 yards of total offense. They allowed New England to get 31 First Downs, and complete 50% of Third Down situations. That is beyond pathetic and inexcusable. They had absolutely no answer for Brady and Gronkowski. This whole notion that the Broncos remarkable run was all because of the defense is a JOKE. This is the same defense that started the year 1-4 under Kyle Orton. That's an 80% losing percentage under Kyle Orton, yet somehow when Tim Tebow took over it was all of a sudden that 80% of the time loser defense that was the reason they were winning? It wasn't the 6 game winning drives Tebow had in 4th quarter or OT?

Secondly, Denver's Offensive Line was just awful. They allowed Tim Tebow to get sacked FIVE times and allowed the New England Defense to force a fumble while Tebow was attempting a pass. They just could NOT protect Tebow at all. He was constantly being hurried, and having to scramble out of the pocket all game long.

I also cannot count the number of dropped passes by the Denver receiving corps. True enough, Tim Tebow was only 9 of 26 but how many of those passes were dropped? I would wager that at least 5 to 6 of those passes maybe more were dropped balls.

In closing, it's obvious that the Denver Broncos defense let the game get away before the 2nd quarter was over, and since Denver is not a high scoring offense they didn't stand a chance. Denver just does not match up well with high powered offenses like Detroit and New England. They are better suited for a slug fest against slower to mid-tempo offenses like Pittsburgh, Kansas City, and Oakland. The Broncos offensive line did a horrible job protecting Tebow. There is no excuse for allowing your quarterback to be sacked FIVE times. The Broncos offensive and defensive lines were utterly destroyed all game long by the Patriots, and there can't be any Tebow magic if he's getting sacked and hurried the entire game. This game ended about how I expected as the Denver Broncos were simply outgunned as it was Tebow or bust.

The Denver Broncos need to invest in upgrading their Offensive Line, Wide Receivers, and Tight Ends through the draft and free agency. Give Tebow some actual weapons to throw too. Demaryius Thomas has potential, but I would scrap Eric Decker. I mean, does anyone even know who their Tight End or Fullback is? All defenses have to do is double team Demaryius Thomas and stack the line and you can shut down the Broncos. The Broncos have quite possibly the worst receiving group in the league. The Broncos with some better talent around Tim Tebow could become a dangerous team instead of just a wild card.

This season (including playoffs) Tim Tebow went 8-5, Division Title, Playoff Win with 6 game winning drives in 4th Quarter or Overtime and threw 14 TDs, ran for 7 TD, and only threw 6 interceptions, broke playoff records, and upset the defending AFC Champion Pittsburgh Steelers in the playoffs and all analysts like Merril Hoge and Chris Carter can say to defend against these facts is that he has a 45% completion percentage. I have to go with former Pro Bowl QB Rich Gannon who said "It bothers me when old running backs or old offensive linemen who've become analysts start analyzing the quarterback position. They're not experts at it. They've never played the position. I'm always curious, when they put on the tape, what are they watching? Are they watching footwork? Are they watching mechanics? Are they watching anticipation? Do they understand what the quarterback is told in terms of the progressions, where the read is?"... Give me a break. This young man has more than earned the right to be the starter all next season. 

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